Feb 13 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 1)

Posted by Mathias

Diur brought forth three entities from the darkness. Daughters of the Great Dragon, the Fates, they were entrusted with the destiny of all upon Geiha. Sashna Keeper of Law and Good, Octeava, Keeper of the Dark and Chaos, and Sarina, Keeper of Neutrality and Balance. Their charge – to hold together the fabric of the universe for all time.

-Book of the Gods 2:16

Chapter 1 (3rd of Earonitan 6178)

Darkness. Everlasting darkness.  It stretched for as far as any of the senses could sense.   

The cold blackness of the cosmos was broken only by the flickering of distant stars. Its silence was lonely.  So terrifyingly lonely.   

Power coalesced. Ether began to churn.  It moved at its own pace, without a care of what others would desire of it.  The universe would not bend to the arbitrary will of the impatient.   

Where once only emptiness had been, twisting clouds contorted.  Their swirling motion molded and bent. When the cosmic dance finally ceased, they formed a tower extending downward to infinity.   

Its stone was plain, unassuming, and out of place.  But it filled the cosmos with an aura of power, control, and balance.  As though it was meant to be there.   

(more…)
Jan 12 2013

Let The Submission Process Begin!!!

Posted by Mathias

Last week I officially started sending out queries for my epic fantasy novel Under the Darkened Moon.  I started by selecting five literary agents and sent them all queries.  I followed their submission guidelines and sent what they requested, whether it was just a query, a query plus a synopsis, or a query plus a synopsis plus sample pages.

A couple days later I got my first official rejection.  It was a rejection based only on a query letter and a synopsis and not the actual story itself, but a rejection none-the-less.  Now I am looking at my set of next five lit agents to send letters to. (more…)

Sep 28 2012

Under the Darkened Moon Critiques (Both Good And Bad)

Posted by Mathias

I encourage people to say what they really think whenever they are reading my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon). I haven’t had it in a formal review setting since I started the live read and final draft process. But, prior to that, I got a lot of feedback from a variety of sources including: my standard review group, writer friends of mine (published and unpublished), and people who I know and who like to read fantasy.

I’m not someone who isn’t willing to let people, whether they liked the book or not, have their say. Here is a sampling of the good and the bad that I got as feedback: (more…)

Aug 03 2012

So, You Tolkien Fanboys Want Originality?

Posted by Mathias

Since I have now been forced into a conversations about how “great” LotR is several times over the past week by fanboys of the books, I thought I would blog about the experience.

Let me start off by clarifying that I really do like J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy series Lord of the Rings. But, that said, it doesn’t make it on my 10 top list in the Fiction/Fantasy genre. And, honestly, you Tolkien fanboys really piss me off. Especially since you Tolkien fanboys regularly, and laughably always resort to the same, tired arguments to make LotR sound like it is something it was not and is not. That “same, tired argument” is an attempt to portray LotR as some unique story and everything that has come since in the realm of fantasy literature is just some thinly veiled carbon copy.

(more…)

Jun 07 2012

The Deadly Sin Of Not Giving A Book A Five Star Rating

Posted by Mathias

There are seven commonly recognized deadly sins.  They include wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.  But there is also an eighth deadly sin so cardinal that is often over looked.  That sin is daring to say that a book is not “5 star” quality.

Yep, it is true.  Honesty is not looked upon kindly in the world of book reviews.  In that world, glowing, five star praise painting every novel written as the next best thing since Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkein or C.S. Lewis put pen to paper is the order of the day.  If you give a hedged four-star review while heaping praise, you can usually avoid most ofthe inevitable aftermath.  But, dare to give a book three-stars or less and you better be ready for scorn to be heaped upon you and the personal attacks to ensue.

When I said that Ian Irvine’s latest fantasy novel Vengeance, The Tainted Realm Vol 1 was only worth three-stars saying it read “like I was in the middle of a Tuesday night AD&D session” and it was not for anyone with “discriminating tastes in epic fantasy” it was on.  I received angry emails calling me a “worthless piece of s**t” and accusing me of “being jealous that I could never write such a wonderfully contrived novel as Mr. Irvine does time and time again.”  Well, excuse me for having an opinion.  Excuse me for thinking the book was mediocre.

Even when I recently posted my review of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, which I gave four out of five stars, I was not immune from attacks.  While I recommended the book, I also said that some things disappointed me such as the “simplistic prose”, its predictability and the fact that the basic premise was not very original even if the story details themselves were.  That caused fans of the book to unleash upon me because I did not think it was worthy of five star praise like they did.  Again, sorry for having an opinion that you did not like I suppose.  Please note that I did give it four stars.  Geesh!

It is an odd thing to experience, especially as an aspiring writer seeking publication.  One person upset with my review of The Hunger Games whined at me in a long, meandering email, “How would you like it if someone called something you wrote ‘simplistic and predictable’ and did not give it five stars?”  Well, honestly, as long as they are being honest and not vindictive or just a generally ignorant ass?  Then I do not care.  Opinions are, as they say, like butt holes.  Everyone has them.

I’m not one to toss around five-star ratings for anything, least of all books.  I’ve only ever thought that three books I have ever read deserved such an honor: Bram Stokers’s Dracula, C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.  Sorry.  That’s my opinion.  Others have come close, but none has quite hit those heights.

I’m honest.  If you do not like it, don’t visit my site any more.  It is still a free country.

May 10 2012

Compiling My Agents List

Posted by Mathias

I have begun compiling a list of literary agents to whom I will query and otherwise send my manuscript to once it is completed. My plans are that after this latest edit of Under the Darkened Moon is completed and the review group has given their comments that I will do a polishing edit. Everyone reading the story seems to think it good and have only minor comments such a the occasional awkward sentence or the misspelled word the spell checker missed. But once that polishing edit is complete, I am allotting one day per chapter so about a month and a half, I have to have some idea of what to do with it.

Side note:
I already had an encounter with one lit agent who a friend referred to me. She claimed to be accepting epic fantasy for review and lobbied for me to send her a sample. However upon me sending her the first 50 pages of my novel she then claimed that she was not looking for epic fantasy. Her web profile, however, says that she is. I don’t know whether or not she is just confused as to the what the genre is that she claims to want submissions on or she just hated the story and did not want to say so. Either way, it certainly annoyed me because I went though the bother of doing a polish on the first 50 pages and rushed it off to her.

Apr 06 2012

Trying To Be A Little Less Epic

Posted by Mathias

If anyone asks me about my current main project, Under the Darkened Moon, I do not lie about it.  I freely admit that I plan it to be the first of a series of stories set in the world of Arrnna.  Even if I write something else in the meantime.  However, even though the story is part of an epic fantasy saga I have purposefully tried to write the novel in a less than epic fashion.  Hey, you have to get published first is the way I see it.  Then you have to prove your story can sell second.  Trying to sell an epic five, six or seven book series to a publisher without a track record is certainly a daunting task.  Selling one book with the hook that there can be much more if the publisher desires is certainly more doable.  So it is important for me to make sure that the story in Under the Darkened Moon wraps up completely by the end of it.  I would hate to sell the first book of a saga and never be able to complete it because I never get to sell the second.

Some people that have been reviewing the drafts, giving it good reviews too, have pointed out that the book seems like it could be easily stretched into a two book set.  Originally, to tell the truth, it was headed that way.  The entire story was at first around 300,000 words (two books of approximately 150,000 words each).  But really about half of that story was only of interest to me as the author.  It really was not things the reader needed to know and it seemed to drag in parts.  So I edited the book down to about 140,000 as of right now.  Hey, I look at it like this; if I sell this book and get a chance to sell another, I can always go back and tell the story in those “lost” 150,000 words as a collection of short stories to supplement the novel.

I am about halfway through my current edit.  I hope to have it done sometime around June.  Whether or not it will get another polish or not is still up in the air.